Alternative name: Nankeen Night Heron
- Nycticorax caledonicus
55–65 cm (21¾-25½ in)
- Short heavy black bill
- Short think neck
- Greyish-black crown and nape
- Long white (or rufous) supercilium
- Whitish face
- Greenish-yellow lores and skin at lower mandible base
- Upper parts variable from pale cinnamon to maroon
- White underparts have a rufous wash
Breeding: two or three long white crown plumes. Blue lores during courtship. Irises are red to orange. Legs turn bright pink or red.
Philippines and Sulu Archipelago, north and west Borneo and Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Palau and Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. Also breeds over much of Australia except the arid interior.
Six subspecies recognized:
- N. c. crassirostris formerly Bonin Islands; extinct since the late 1800s
- N. c. manillensis in Philippines, east Borneo and Sulawesi
- N. c. australasiae from Australia and New Guinea west to Java
- N. c. mandibularis from Bismarck Archipelago to Solomon Islands
- N. c. pelewensis on Palau and Caroline islands
- N. c. caledonicus in New Caledonia
Inland and coastal fresh and brackish water. Swamps, rivers, streams and mangroves. Permanent and temporary flooded grassland.
They have a very varied diet consisting of small fish, amphibians, crustaceans, shrimps, reptiles, insects and occasionally eggs.
They construct a nest platform out of sticks, in a colony, near water. The clutch contains 2-5 light green eggs which are incubated for 22-day; followed by a 42-49 day fledging period.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2018)
- Heron Conservation
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Rufous Night Heron. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 5 August 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Rufous_Night_Heron